Rising Stars: 10 Artists to Watch in 2021

Since the launch of the Rising Stars category on Bluethumb, it’s become perilously easy to discover fresh, new Australian artists. The artists you’ll find in here are enjoying a surge in popularity and sales.

Last year may have left us all tentatively coming into 2021 thinking ‘please be nice’, but going on the emerging talent we’ve seen over the past twelve months, the Australian art scene is about to get shaken up.

Stay at the forefront of art’s next batch of superstars with our list of 10 rising stars for 2021. There’s no doubt, these are the ones to watch over the coming year.

1. Laura Thomas: A Rule-Breaking Rising Star

Interior favourite, eccentric artist and generally lovely human being, Laura Thomas is one of our rising stars to watch this year.

UK-born, Melbourne-based artist Laura Thomas has quickly become a much-loved still life painter within Australia’s art and design community. Her distinct and naïve style playfully breaks the rules of traditional, figurative art, providing the perfect antidote to weird and complex times.

Laura Thomas popped into our Collingwood Gallery at the end of 2020 to show us her creative process and to give some words of wisdom. Check out her advice on taking the creative leap here.

We recently worked with Laura Thomas in a collaboration with Disney Australia (click here for the full story and to see Laura’s commissioned piece for this exciting partnership). You can also find her available works for a real-life respite here.

2. Ed Fetahovic: An Award-Winning Photographer

Street photographer and Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 category award winner Ed Fetahovic.

Last year welcomed creatives to bring beauty and meaning within the mundane and everyday. Ed Fetahovic certainly stepped up to 2020’s challenge; he came out as the Photography Award winner in the Bluethumb Art Prize for his explorations of shape and objects within the quotidian.

Smaller Like Man won the Bluethumb Art Prize 2020 Photography Award.

Based in Perth, Ed is a self-taught street photographer with a focus on presenting his environment in a way that lends itself to a surreal nature – a new way of seeing things. “My intent is to not only find something new but to present that new thing in a way that allows my viewer to see it in their everyday life too,” Ed says. “To enjoy the experiences that are missed in the fraction of a moment.”

View more of Ed’s work on his Bluethumb profile.

3. Andria Beighton: A Colour Blocking Rising Star

Andria Beighton at her latest work in progress.

Craving sleek lines and block colours? Andria Beighton‘s geometric still life paintings deftly distill their subjects. Andria takes inspiration from the 20th century’s brutalist architecture, as well as the mid-century bold graphics that are now so iconic in ever-cool vintage posters from the era.

Still Life No.52 by Andria Beighton

While Andria is mostly known for her floral artworks, she has recently begun to branch out to other subject matter, such as birds and abstracts. Keep up-to-date on the artist’s new directions by following her Bluethumb profile.

4. Jane Reynolds: A Still Life Connoisseur

Meet Jane Reynolds! Here she stands beside one of the pieces from her Arrangement series.

Jane Reynolds has been popular with the Bluethumb team since her artwork was first spotted on our New Art page. “Through my process I undertake an in-depth, often meditative study of the still life subject,” explains Jane. “I am drawn to everyday objects and materials that may be glanced over in their usual setting, finding beauty in the mundane.”

Jane’s typical subject matter includes discarded and unwanted household items, often found at op shops or abandoned on the street. “By capturing collected subjects in a new space, I seek to give them new value and a stage to continue living on.”

The piece that took home last year’s Still Life award in the Bluethumb Art Prize, Arrangement 24.

Since joining Bluethumb last year, we’ve seen Jane move from strength to strength, and finishing 2020 off by winning the Bluethumb Art Prize Still Life category award was a nice way of seeing the year away! Her work is now in high demand, and we can’t wait to see what 2021 brings her.

Stay up-to-date with Jane’s newest art by following her profile.

5. Nick Psomiadis: Photography of Home and Away

Having purchased his very first SLR camera in 1986, Nick Psomiadis began his photographic journey with roots in analogue technique. Over the years, his style has evolved and now he works in the crisp digital format we know and love today. Nick’s images are known for their uncanny ability to transport a viewer to places near and far.

Icy Vigil by Nick Psomiadis

Nick’s storytelling provides the perfect accompaniment for his portfolio. On the above photo, Icy Vigil he says: “This hut on the roadside [in Northern Iceland] was spotted out. With a heavy overcast blanket of cloud and a slight blizzard it was difficult to capture this scene, it didn’t look so impressive through the lens of a camera. But then something happened, the winds calmed down and the sun broke out. Just for a moment, the scene was perfect.”

Luminous captures the inside of Antelope Canyon during midday, as an ethereal light show occurs.

Explore the world through Nick’s lens here.

6. Laura Oczos: A Star of Abstraction

After an 11-year hiatus, Laura Oczos returned to the canvas in 2019 – and we’re so glad she did. Her abstract style, autobiographical in nature, is a continuous build on previous styles and transitions, as she constantly strives to refine her process.

Mistaken for a better man demonstrates Laura’s current style beautifully: repeated patterns in complimentary colours and multiple layers.

“Each work is created by building up multiple layers of colour and pattern until I’m satisfied these emotions and memories are realised,” Laura explains. “In this way, the process of editing is integral to my work. The marks and colour that have been removed are of equal importance to those that remain. In each painting fragments of the mistakes, alterations and changes of mind remain as a visual representation of my thought process and personal narrative. No one painting relates to a singular event in my life, rather, once completed, each painting becomes an amalgamation of multiple cathartic processes that are each realised then hidden.”

While remaining bold in colour, the pattern in this piece is subtle and softer compared to Laura’s other work. Featured: You mean less than you used to

See more of Laura’s work here.

7. Kate Rogers: Perfectly Imperfect Portraiture

Saluting the power of the imperfect, Kate Rogers is the spark of joy we all need from time to time. Her playful portraits land somewhere in between an embrace of the dark and irreverent parts of being human and an expansive knowledge of influential artistic themes.

From the faces to the titles of the artwork, there’s a ‘Who’s Who?’ nature to Kate’s work. Featured: Henrika Ibsen. Flown the Coop.

Within the short time Kate has been on Bluethumb, we’ve seen her work become loved by collectors and the team alike. We’re not psychics, but we predict great things for this artist.

Inspired by the classical melody, perhaps? Viola Bucolic by Kate Rogers

See more of Kate’s portraits on her profile here.

8. Emiley Rose: A Reverence of Australia’s Land

While her babes sleep, Emiley Rose can enjoy a moment in her studio!

The abstracts we see from Emiley Rose are a blend of Australian landforms and aerial perspectives. Based in the impossibly gorgeous Margaret River, her inspiration comes in abundance from the region, as well as the colours and landforms of the Kimberley.

Opal was created by Emiley with the differing reactions between mixed mediums.

Shortly after becoming a mother, Emiley Rose took up painting as a means of reflecting her maternal nurturing side. Motherhood has taught her to look deeper and to observe the small details that can often be missed. “My aim is for every piece to take the viewer to a special place or moment each time they look at it,” Emiley says. “[I hope] to capture the beautiful rawness of our Mother Earth in hope that we can enjoy the simple beauty of her”.

Browse Emiley’s full portfolio here.

9. Anahita Amouzegar: A Rising Star Finalist

Melbourne-based painter Anahita Amouzegar has in a short time become known for her vibrant abstracts that meet with wisps of the figurative. She says: “For me, the beauty in painting is to bring in as many movements and simulations in harmony and gentleness. I paint with nature and human life as combined inspiration. I don’t have a finished piece in my mind when I paint. I allow my subconscious mind to bring out my personal reality in my paintings.”

Ontological Design was Anahita’s finalist piece in the 2020 Bluethumb Art Prize.

As a finalist in last year’s Bluethumb Art Prize, we know 2021 has a lot in store for Anahita. Click here to check out her profile.

10. Susannah Bond: A Semi-Abstract Rising Star

Beach Walk to Bronte by Susannah Bond

Rustic subject matter, rich and neutral colour palettes, minimal compositions; Susannah Bond is fast becoming known for her still life paintings and seascapes. Splitting her time between Melbourne and the coast has given Susannah a broad scope of inspiration and stimuli that aids her art. Likewise, she turns to the minimalist artists of the 20th Century as an influence in her own artistry.

Who needs a swimming pool in their garden, when they have nature like this on their doorstep? This palette knife painting takes the essence of Susannah’s local Rockpool.

Dive into Susannah’s profile here.

New year, new you – and by that, we mean new artwork! You can find these artists and many more in our Rising Stars list on Bluethumb.

In the Studio: Meet Our Artists!

One Comment

  1. Jade Forder says:

    These are really exciting. I can’t wait to see more this year!

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